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BlackRock’s Asset Growth Continues, Despite Lower-Than-Expected Q4 Revenue

From BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) early Friday posted mixed fourth quarter earnings results, raised its dividend, and boosted its share buyback plan, as it saw asset growth across all major regions.

The New York-based company reported Q4 EPS of $5.14, which was $0.12 better than the $5.02 that analysts had expected. Revenues rose 0.9% from last year to $2.89 billion, missing Wall Street’s consensus view of $2.93 billion, however.

The world’s largest asset manager noted that long-term net inflows were positive across all major regions it services, with net inflows totaling $46.0 billion in the Americas, $38.2 billion in EMEA, and $3.6 billion in Asia-Pacific. Meanwhile, operating margin rose 280 basis points from last year to 44.4%.

The company commented via press release:

“Increasingly diversified groups of institutional and retail clients are using ETFs in their portfolios. This broadening of the ETF ecosystem is creating a deeper secondary market for ETF trading — enhancing liquidity for all investors. iShares generated a record $140 billion of net inflows for the year, including $60 billion into iShares fixed income ETFs, capturing the #1 share of flows globally, in the US and in Europe, and in equity and fixed income.

Institutions looked to BlackRock to help them close funding gaps and meet future liability objectives, and we saw record institutional net inflows of $51 billion, driven by fixed income and multi-asset solutions.”

BLK’s board of directors also approved a 9% boost to its quarterly dividend payout to $2.50 per share, and said it would repurchase an additional 6 million shares under its existing buyback program.

BlackRock, Inc. shares were unchanged in premarket trading Friday. Year-to-date, BLK has declined -0.59%, versus a 1.34% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

BLK currently has an POWR Rating of A (Strong Buy), and is ranked #1 of 34 stocks in the Asset Management category.

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